How to Create a Dropdown Menu in Google Sheets

Google has recently made it really easy to create a drop-down menu in Google Sheets with no formulas needed. The dropdown menu allows you to create and customize a list of items you can select/choose from.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to quickly add a dropdown menu in Google Sheets.

Adding a dropdown menu on Google Sheets

There are two ways to insert a drop-down menu in Google Sheets. You can either do this:

  1. Select the cell you want to create the dropdown menu.
  2. Type @dropdowns and hit Enter.
  3. type dropdown

Or, you can add it from the Google Sheets menu.

  1. Select the cell to create the dropdown.
  2. Select Insert > Dropdown from the top menu.
  3. insert from menu
Insert values in Dropdown menu

To enter your own value, make sure “Dropdown” is selected in Criteria, and not “Dropdown (from a range)“.

option within criteria

You can drag-drop to rearrange your items or even change the colors of each item.

drag drop items

Dropdown Menu’s Advance Options

There are a few more things you can do to customize your dropdown menu further.

Change the display style

You can change the menu’s display style. There are currently 3 options to choose from, respectively, Chips (default), Arrow, and Plain text.


chips display


arrow display

Plain text

plain text display
Display custom error message

Look under “if the data is invalid” – if “Show a warning” is checked, a tiny red mark (top-right corner) will be displayed in the cell when the user input is not within the provided options.

small red mark error

And if “Reject the input” is checked, it will reject the entered item entirely.

error with prompt

Finally, you can also create a custom message for the input error. To do this, check “Show help text for a selected cell” and enter your message.

error with message